People have had their bellyful of capitalism. We all know what we’re against, more or less, on the other hand, we aren’t too clear about what we’re for. A major question for socialists is how to challenge and overthrow the capitalist state to build a just society. Signposts to that society would be invaluable. There is throughout the world a widespread popular perception that socialism is a coercive system, and the experiences of ‘communist’ parties in power have justified that impression. Generally speaking, while the world's peoples hate capitalism, they fear socialism. These issues are at the heart of socialism's crisis, and only as socialists develop a movement and a vision which are at once revolutionary and democratic will they turn the corner of that crisis. The Socialist Party rejects any notion of class dictatorship that implies a despotic form of government, that identifies the dictatorship of the proletariat with an ever-expanding state apparatus or that infers a dictatorship of any ruling party over the people as a whole.
Ownership divides society into two distinct classes. One is the class of employers, and the other is the class of wage-workers. The employers are the capitalist class; and the wage-workers are the working class. While the working class, by their labour, produce to-day — as in the past — all the wealth that sustains society, they, nevertheless, lack economic and industrial security, suffer from overwork, enforced idleness, and their attendant miseries, all of which are due to the present capitalist form of society. The capitalist class, through the ownership of most of the land and the tools of production — which are necessary for the production of food, clothing, shelter and fuel — hold the workers in complete economic and industrial subjection, and thus live on the labour of the working class. Working people, in order to secure food, clothing, shelter and fuel, must sell their labour-power to the owning capitalists — that is to say, they must work for the capitalist class. The working class do all the useful work of society, they are the producers of all the wealth of the world, while the capitalist class are the exploiters who live on the wealth produced by the working class. As the capitalists live off the product of the workers, the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interest of the capitalists. The capitalist class — owning as they do, most of the land and the tools of production — employ the working class, buy their labour-power, and return to them in the form of wages, only part of the wealth they have produced. The rest of the wealth produced by the workers the capitalists keep; it constitutes their profit — i.e., rent, interest, and dividends. Thus the working class produce their own wages as well as the profits of the capitalists. In other words, the working class work a part only of each day to produce their wages, and the rest of the day to produce surplus (profits) for the owning class. The interest of the employing class is to get all the surplus (profits) possible out of the labour of the employees. The interest of the worker is to get the full product of their labour.
Hence there is a struggle between these two classes - the “class war” It is a struggle between the owning capitalist class — which must continue to exploit the working class in order to live — and the non-owning working class, who, in order to live must work for the owners of the land and the tools of production. To win economicfFreedom the non-owning Working Class must force this struggle into the political field and use their political power (the ballot) to abolish capitalist class ownership, and thus revolutionise in the interests of the working class the entire structure of society. The capitalist class, who own most of the land and the tools of production, own the government and govern the working people, not for the well-being of the people but for the well-being and profit of the ruling class.
It is only by using their political power that the Capitalist Class make their exploitation of the Working Class legal and the oppression of their system constitutional. And it is only by using their political power that the Working Class can make their own exploitation illegal and their own oppression unconstitutional. It is only by the use of their political power that the Working Class can abolish Capitalist Class rule and privilege, and establish a planned form of Society based on the Collective Ownership of all the land and the tools of production, in which equal industrial right shall be the share of all. We, members of the working class, organised in the Socialist Party declare that to the workers belong the future. We, the workers of the world can, through the ballot box and the power of the vote, abolish the capitalist system of ownership with its accompanying class rule and oppression, and establish in its place socialism — an industrial democracy — wherein all the land and the tools of production shall be the common property of the whole people, to be operated by the whole people for the production of commodities for use and not for profit. We ask other members of the working class to organise with us to end the domination of private ownership — with its poverty-breeding system of unplanned production — and substitute in its place the socialist co-operative commonwealth in which every worker shall have the free exercise and full benefit of his or her faculties, multiplied by all the modern factors of technology and civilisation.
The Socialist Party holds aloft its ideas. It is above all compromise, a party of truth. We alone cannot now transform society. What we can do is help transform the people who will remake society. Our task as socialists is to make more socialists. There are differences among those who consider themselves to be socialists the world over, not only on principles, but on action as well. We have to make our choice. But we should not try to talk away differences that will continue to exist. For years to come the Socialist Party’s primary work must be the making of socialists, and, isolated as we are, to some extent we must carry on that work in our own way. We will organise because we are face to face with conditions that require united action of our class at the ballot box which requires a political education acquired only by careful reading and close investigation where we, the working class, can learn the cause of our industrial and economic enslavement and how to free ourselves.